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Too much time in the tub or too many dishes to scrub can often lead to one thing: pruny fingertips.

There’s actually an amazing scientific mystery behind your wrinkly digits, and it all starts with your skin.


The skin on your fingers is what’s known as glabrous skin, which means it doesn’t have any hair. It’s not clear why, but that skin seems to be more prone to wrinkling than the rest of the skin on our body. It’s thought that when water starts to seep into the skin, it sends off electrical charges from the nerves. Those, in turn, send a message to the blood vessels that makes them constrict.

In this episode of “Boddities,” we put a finger on what’s making your fingers shrivel up — and how the temperature and type of liquid they’re soaking in might make a difference.

Watch other “Boddities” episodes: